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Showing posts from July, 2015

Three Ways to Do Life

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
-Romans 11:36 (HCSB)
There are three ways to do or approach life: Without God, through God, and with God.

Without God

When I view life on my own, it is just me versus all the challenges.  Many good things might happen to me, but I am left to my own means of trying figure things out and navigating life.  If I live this way, as a believer, then the Lord is distant.  I believe the Bible, but the words are not very much alive.  
When I live out life on my own, with God far away, my life story ends up being one of discontent.  I look at life through my heart, with a degree of Bible in the mix, and I end up with a dirty lens, because only God's heart gives me the clear application of his word.

Through God

A much better way to do life, is to see life through God.  When I look at God or God in Christ, it is easy to get lost, and that is a good thing.  Like the song says, "Turn your eyes upon Jes…

Prayers in a Time of Suffering

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.  For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations.  May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
-Psalm 61
There are times of loss and suffering when we feel distant from God.  We feel like we are in a place, on earth, that is one of the furthest from God.  That is how is feels, because we are suffering.  We are tired and our heart is faint.
In that time, our prayer is, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I".  We want to be ground…

God's kindness

This is the story of a man that was the king's grandson. His dad, who was a very good man; was the king's first born son which made him heir to the throne. The grandson was his dad's first born, which put him next in line. Life could not have been better for the young man, but then things changed.

His grandfather, the king, became corrupt. He began losing wars with the barbaric tribes that surrounded their country. He also seemed to have lost the favor of the people and God's favor as well. There was another man who was a very gifted man, a fierce warrior, and a born leader; who seemed to have won the hearts of the people. He even seemed to have God's favor.

This man, the warrior, and the boy's father became close friends. I should mention that the boy's father was also a brave warrior. The boy's grandfather, the king, became jealous of the warrior man and it made it difficult for the boy's dad to be close friends with him because the king eventual…

Voice Your Complaint To God

Hear Me, My God, as I voice my complaint.
-Psalm 64:1a

I think that it is so important that we tell God about our concerns.  If you don't "get it off your chest", it will affect your identity and your theology.  The believer who does not talk to God, letting God know what they are worried about, will end up being formed by their problem rather than transformed by God.

Your concerns or complaints are your prayers.  One translator gives us Psalm 64:1 this way: "Listen and help, O God.  I'm reduced to a whine and a whimper, obsessed with feelings of doomsday."  Are you ever so depressed, overwhelmed, stressed-out, afraid, or so hopeless; that you can only whine and whimper?  Then go ahead and whine and whimper to God.

The mistake or real failure is when we do not pray.  When we let our circumstances define us, rather than letting God transform us in our circumstances.  God is the transformer and redeemer.  God is the restorer and renewer.  God is the comforte…

God's LinkedIn

However, Peter stood outside near the gate. Then the other disciple (the one known to the high priest) came out and spoke to the woman stationed at the gate, and she brought Peter in.
-John 18:16

God has people in unexpected places.  God has people who can help us get in to where we want to go.  God has placed people who are allied with him, along your path.  God is in our futures, preparing the path with people who will be  helpful to us.

There are people around us who are waiting to be discovered by us.  God is  more involved with all the people around us than we usually ever realize.  We just have to be available to discover them.

God has people in our future who are strategically placed.  This is how my life has worked, even before I was born; because this is how my parents met.  They were introduced through a link in their networks.  The link was my grandma, my father's mom.  God's LinkedIn!  That is just the first of many stories I could relate about God putting people i…

Worries, Prayers, and God

Even before they call, I will answer: while they are still speaking, I will hear.

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.

Then Jesus replied, "I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.

-Isaiah 65:24, Habakkuk 2:3, John 5:19

What you are worried about, God was there first and cares more about that, than you do.  He already has been answering that prayer.  So, rather than being in despair and praying desperate prayers, thank him for what he has already done and is doing.  And pray for more of it.
We don't get the idea then give it, give orders to God; but God already has the idea and is implementing it.  We need to be saying, "Lord, help me to see what you are already doing".
Get a vision, a word or an ide…

Saving Up Praise For God Who Sends Rain (Psalm 65)

In Zion, God, praise silently awaits you,
and vows will be paid to you. Since you hear prayer, everybody will come to you. My acts of iniquity—they overwhelm me! Our transgressions—you blot them out! How blessed is the one you choose,
the one you cause to live in your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
yes, even with the holiness of your Temple. With awesome deeds of justice
you will answer us, God our Deliverer;
you are the confidence for everyone at the ends of the earth,
even for those far away overseas. The One who established the mountains by his strength
is clothed with omnipotence.
He calmed the roar of seas,
the roaring of the waves,

Living In God - Psalm 91:1

The one (Whoever,He ,He) who (who, who)lives(dwells, lives, takes refuge) under the protection of the Most High(in the shelterof the Most High, in the shelter of the Most High, in the secret shelter of the Most High) dwells in the shadow of the Almighty (will rest in the shadow of the Almighty, will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty, lodges in the shadow of the Almighty).
-Psalm 91:1 (HCSB, NIV, VOICE, Berkeley)
I was looking at Psalm 91 this week.  I saw some key words in various translations.  There are four translation, color coded above.  

One thing I noticed, when transposing these four translations, is that we see "dwell" twice, once at the beginning: "Whoever dwells... will rest in the shadow..."(NIV),  and, "The one who lives... dwells in the shadow"(HCSB).  These two "dwell's" are two different Hebrew words, that I think mean two different things

It is, perhaps, dwell vs dwelling.  I dwell around something- my favorite store, par…

Unless You Remain in Me

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.  Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you.  Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.   “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
-John 15:1-5

Let me tell you a story, about a married couple.  After many years of searching for true love, a lady found a man.  And that man had been searching for that very lady, for her whole life, and he finally found her.  At least it seemed like that to him.

When they found each other, that long wait no longer seemed like a long trial, because they were so happy to have found each other.  The man adored the woman and the woman was…

Unless I Wash You

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
   The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
   He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
   Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
   “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
   Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
   “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replie…

Unless You Repent

Luke 13:1-5  Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Luke 15:1-7  All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him.  And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”

So He told them this parable:  “What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?  When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders,  and coming home, he calls his frien…